Rolf Gehlhaar is a pioneer in musical interactivity (SOUND=SPACE 1984), generative visuals and music, computer-aided composition and computer controlled kinetic sculptures. He studied Philosophy and Science at Yale University and undertook postgraduate studies in Music at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1967-71 he was engaged by Karlheinz Stockhausen as his personal assistant.
From 1971 onwards he received numerous major commissions, prizes, appointments (Sydney Conservatorium, IRCAM, Centre Pompidou, Sydney Opera House, CEM (Netherlands), University of New England (NSW), MIT, Hayward Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and many others, including more than 10 interactive installations throughout Europe. 2002-2009 he was MA Course Director in Design & Digital Media at the Coventry School of Art & Design. He has completed over 60 instrumental and instrumental-electro-acoustic compositions, all of which have been recorded and broadcast throughout the world.
Much of his current work focuses on the design and development of assistive music technology – providing the ways and means for disabled musicians – and the disabled in general – to perform music, including Headspace for a quadriplegic musician. He is also collaborating with Charles Hazlewood in directing the British ParaOrchestra, an ensemble consisting entirely of disabled musicians.